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Typography series: What is a Slab-serif font?

If you’ve been reading our series of font blogs you’re probably thinking a Serif is a Serif and how many can we cover? There’s one more to add to the trio of Serifs – the Slab-serif. Perhaps the lesser known, but it is in no means less important. Here we’ll explore, what is a Slab-serif font?

What is a slab-serif font

In this typography series, we understand what makes the selection of typography crucial. We explain how fonts help us to process information and how they change perceptions.

Something with a kick

Slab-serif fonts started emerging in the 1800s. They were used in early illustrative and woodblock advertising and have been popular since.

Nowadays, if your brand is looking for something with a pinch of quirkiness, then a Slab-serif might be what you need. Its iconic angles, curves and ‘kicks’ make the Slab-serif an easy font to distinguish. Many brands use a Slab-serif style font to their advantage, allowing them to stand out that extra bit.

Take a look at the Volvo, Sony and Honda logos below, these brands use a Slab-serif style font in their logos. This typeface allows these brands to stand proud, offering a more rugged, prominent look to their traditional sibling, Serif.

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Slab-serif logo examples

Defining Slab-serif fonts

We know Slab-serifs look great, but what makes them unique?

Take a look below, you can see their characteristic horizontal serif that adorns most characters – a typographic element that protrudes from the letters. The structure of each character also remains a consistent thickness, this differs from the serif fonts which have a structure that transitions between thick and thin. All Slab-serifs share these qualities.

Take a look below at some of the most popular Slab-serifs.

Slab-serif font examples

Typography fact

The first known example of a Slab-serif letterform is woodblock lettering on an 1810 lottery advertisement from London. (Fact via Wikipedia)

Need some help?

There are many things to consider with a font whether it be in your logo or your day to day use. All Threerooms brands are created with carefully crafted logos and considered fonts.

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A specialist brand agency 

An award-winning branding agency, Threerooms has spent over 15 years making brands stronger and businesses more successful. Whether modernising brands with meaning or crafting effective marketing campaigns, our amazing team is focused on delivering brand transformation while providing exceptional customer service.   

Enjoyed this post? Check out our Colour Psychology series, where we explore how colour in branding is carefully chosen to influence us in our daily lives.

Check out our other articles in the series:

Serif font
Sans-serif font
Display font
Monospace font